For Immediate Release:
June 7, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Bentonville, Ark. – Following two PETA Asia undercover investigations that revealed the use of chained and caged monkeys in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry, Walmart has stopped selling coconut milk from major producer Chaokoh. The decision comes after the company received more than 86,000 e-mails from PETA supporters.
“The coconut trade uses social monkeys as chained-up coconut-picking machines, depriving them of any opportunity to eat, play, or spend time with their families,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “With one PETA exposé after another confirming cruelty on coconut farms, retailers are dropping Chaokoh left and right. Kudos to Walmart for its kind decision.”
PETA Asia’s first investigation found cruelty to monkeys on every farm, at every monkey-training facility, and in every coconut-picking contest that used monkey labor. When not being forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus-style shows for tourists, the animals were kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies. After a global outcry, the coconut industry claimed to have changed this practice—but the group’s second investigation found that producers were still using monkey labor and that industry insiders were discussing how farms conceal this practice by simply hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time.
Walmart is now among more than 45,000 stores—including those owned by chains Albertsons, Publix, Wegmans, Target, Food Lion, and Stop & Shop—that have cut ties with coconut milk brands that use coconuts picked by monkeys. PETA is now turning its attention to other retailers that still do business with Chaokoh, including 99 Ranch Market.
Photos from the most recent investigation are available here, and broadcast-quality footage is available upon request.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.